National conservative weekly Human Events names Rounds as one of it's top ten Governors in the nation. Is a higher calling in the tea leaves?

This past June, the national conservative weekly Human Events named South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds as one of it's top ten conservative Governors in the country.
Ranked by HUMAN EVENTS Political Editor John Gizzi.

9. Mike Rounds—South Dakota

Has made nationwide headlines by pushing a measure to ban all abortions in his state—a move almost certain to lead to the Supreme Court’s revisiting Roe v. Wade. Rounds did sign phone tax and cigarette tax increases to deal with a deficit he inherited, but backs his state’s no-income tax stand and calls for property-tax relief when the state has more money.


3. Matt Blunt—Missouri

Backed by Republican majorities in both houses of the state legislature, America’s youngest (36) governor has successfully pushed for tax cuts as well as slashing the size of government.

2. Bill Owens—Colorado

“A sterling record of fiscal accomplishment” is how the Cato Institute characterized GOPer Owens’ six years in office. He backed a state tax and expenditure limit, cut income, capital gains and dividends taxes, and resisted raising taxes when his state had a $850-million deficit in ’03. Owens remains strongly pro-life and backed a statewide marriage initiative.

1. Jeb Bush—Florida

Winding up his second term as governor, Bush has signed a tax cut of some kind almost every year he has been in office—from slashing property to intangibles taxes—and not trimmed his pro-life, pro-voucher sails, although his refusal to permit natural gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has upset many conservatives. He would be an obvious Republican presidential possibility in ’08 were he not following his father and brother.
Why does this matter? Lately over at Sean Hannity's website, it's generating a little buzz as being the list from which Republicans should look to for choosing their presidential prospects.

One commenter is pointing to information on Hannity's website on how Governors almost always have a better shot at being president than Senators. And in modern times, they do have a point. Aside from incumbents who always have a better shot, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, and George W have all matriculated to the office from serving as their state's chief executive.

Even Dukakis who fared poorly came from the Massachusets chief executive seat.

So, as Senatorial politicos such as Allen are nullified, or bow out like Frist did today, could Governor Rounds be on someone's short list as a presidential prospect?

We'll have to wait and see.


Anonymous said…
Rounds' abortion ban was crushed by the voters. Bad idea there Mike.
Anonymous said…
Mike Rounds as President.

That is frickin hilarious
been there said…
It says "he will cut property taxes when the state has more money". Our state will never have more money the way he keeps spending it. Especially on new jobs and big raises and bonuses for his friends ,family, and neighbors in our bloated state government. I doubt if he is on anyones sort or long list for Pres.
Anonymous said…
presumably this is a joke, albeit an unfunny one.

president of Pierre, perhaps.
Todd Epp said…

The writer of their article you cite needed to check the Nov. 7th election results. The abortion ban isn't going to the US Supreme Court as it isn't going into the SD Codified Laws. And nationally, I believe a majority of voters are some sort of pro-choice (heck, even in SD they apparently are).

The last election nationally sent a clear message to extremist Republicans.

What I do think is almost a truism in national politics is that citizens do prefer governors to become their Presidents. But this governor? Very doubtful.

If Gov. Rounds has Potomac Fever, that's one thing, that's understandable; But Presidential Fever, well, that's a thought that probably needs a reality check. I can't imagine he's pushing this as I do think Mike is a pretty careful person. Sen. Thune tried it a year or so ago and it was perhaps only slightly less laughable.

But stranger things have happened, like a B-movie actor and a peanut farmer become our Presidents. Why not an insurance salesman?

Todd Epp
Senior Presidential Prognosticator
S.D. Watch
Anonymous said…
If Mike Rounds is in the top 9, I pity the choices left to Republicans this year for their nominee. The nation is sick of the Bush family, so erase number 1.

Rounds' chicken-hearted waffling on the abortion ban [which lost in a landslide] and the Page execution would make him a national laughing stock, as would getting spanked rudely by the voters over his state plane abuses. It would be humiliating for him and his family members with their state jobs, contracts and insider deals.

I personally hope he announces right away!
Anonymous said…
Most national media outlets talk about the abortion ban when they talk about Rounds. That is understandable, but probably unfair. No matter what you think of Rounds or the abortion ban, I think it is undeniably true that Rounds did not sponsor the ban, did not actively support it, and was unenthused about signing it.

A midterm election is always followed by presidential speculation, much of it silly. Media outlets are desparately looking for a "dark horse" candidate ala Jimmy Carter. PP did not include that entire list, but it also included NE Gov Dave Heineman, another unlikely candidate.

It doesn't seem that Rounds is particularly excited about running for Senator in 2008 - It seems very unlikely that he would be interested in running for President.

It's all just talk among the chattering classes.
Anonymous said…
I think Rounds would be an excellent president but I hope he doesn't run - it is very unlikely that he would win, and I would rather have him focus on being Governor.
Anonymous said…
Rounds didn't raise taxes to cut a deficit. We have now, and had in 2003, more money in reserves per capita than any other state. There never was a deficit.

Rounds raised taxes to pay for his substantial increase in government spending and increase in the size size of government (800 new employees).

Why does anybody think we ever had a deficit? Because Rounds is a good insurance salesman with the bully pulpit of the governorship.

Rounds wanted to convince the state that we had a problem (structural deficit) so by the time of his reelection in 2006 he could convince people he solved the problem (no more structural deficit). To do this he increased spending in his first 3 years so that spending would outpace tax revenue and he could claim we drew on reserves (although budgets may have expected us to draw on reserves we never actually had to). Then in year 4 he didn't increase spending as much and his budget didn't provide for drawing on reserves.

Rounds always has claimed we had to draw on reserves and that we had a deficit. It never was true. Our reserves have grown every year.

The fact that Rounds is able to convince anyone that he's conservative is a testament to his insurance agent's sales skills.
Anonymous said…
Isn't it interesting that in this politically correct society, people like Mr. Epp get upset when we talk about Muslims who disrupt airplanes or people who disrupt Christmas, but he can trash a whole profession of people who are just making a agents. This is not meant to be funny. I am serious. My dad is a longtime insurance agent and he is an honorable and intelligent man.
Anonymous said…
Best post ever.
Anonymous said…
From accidental governor to accidental president... definitely a long shot.
Anonymous said…
Rounds will not ever be President, but I see the first South Dakota Presidential endorsement has been handed out
Anonymous said…
Capt. Mike's not rated to handle a 747. If he were, what kind of sweet job would he rathole for you?
Anonymous said…
Rounds is quiet to a lot, but tactful at all times. He would be a great senator or Representative... President- well, I do not think it is possible for him to do worse than our last South Dakotan who did not make it into the White House.
Anonymous said…
People who have not worked with Rounds closely believe he is stupid but this is not the case. He is a very tactful and savvy person.
Anonymous said…
Geez pp, when are you ever going to understand 6th grade English? The possessive form of its does NOT contain an apostrophe.
Anonymous said…
Do we really have to go back and re-hash the election? Tell me puleeeze what Gov. Rounds has been spending all this money on?
Todd Epp you really need to get a real job! Is there a blog you don't post something on every subject? To even suggest that Rounds is "pushing this" makes no sense at all.
The left-wing liberals need something else to harp on Gov. Rounds besides abortion and the stupid state aircraft issue.
1:56: You don't have the slightest clue what you are talking about. There isn't one fact in your entire post and I beg you to prove any of it.
You are all just jealous that Rounds spanked Billion in a landslide election in spite of criticism of abortion, the execution and the state airplane. Apparently the voters have a different opinion from you people!
Anonymous said…
To set the record straight, Rounds pushed for three tax increases and several fee increases in 2003, and he has eagerly signed every tax and fee increase that has passed the Legislature during his tenure.

He reluctantly signed the abortion ban, and is definitely not the pro-life champion this publication is making him out to be.

In all fairness, there are only 50 Governors to choose from, and many of them are liberals who fail to make the list by default. That doesn't leave many to sift through....and those observing from afar (i.e. national publications) might make the mistake of thinking that he is a conservative since he comes from SD.
Anonymous said…
Can you imagine how Rounds would respond to something like 9/11? After his wishy washy response to much less significant things like signing the abortion bill, or executing Page, or whether or not to cancel the special session?

He's so not Presidential material. He's barely Governor material.
VJ said…
I like Mike!

Yes, that's the campaign slogan. I like Mike!

Let's see now, if the choice was between Kerry, Gore or Rounds, I do believe I would choose Rounds! Wouldn’t most of you?

I like Mike!

Let's get it on!
Anonymous said…

Are you high, Rounds acts like a spoiled brat that when attacked starts to froth at the mouth and toss crap like a honey wagon hitting the median on 229 and 10th street. Watch any of the Governor's debates to see an example.

The only thing Rounds can count on in SD is a sleeping public only interested in shopping and drinking. If they/we ever woke up or paid attention he would be out on his ass in one cycle.

Furthermore how many family members does Mike have? There are lots of jobs at the White House and there are only so many Rounds relatives. With rumors of up to 37 family members in SD State Government they will all have to move to DC and they will need to make more.

Looks like Jean is going to be busy...

hey where did that tray of snowflakes go? Mikey needs another campaign staff!
Anonymous said…
Not to ruin your rant with the facts, but there are the same number of Rounds family members working for the State now as there were when Rounds became governor.
VJ said…
2:18 PM post thanks for the info.

I was wondering abut that. Just couldn't figure out how a person could live in Pierre without a lot of extended family working for state government. Just made sense to me.
Anonymous said…
Rounds has about 10% of the political skills of Bill Janklow and Tom Daschle.

He doesn't take tough stands on issues and isn't particularly good at finessing or cajoling legislators.

He loves being he Mayor of Pierre and will be a good ribbon cutter when his Governor gig is History.
unwashed said…
So, out of 800 new state government jobs NONE are rounds relatives?? How did this horrible rumor originate?
Anonymous said…

You didn't read carefully.

There are the same NUMBER of Rounds relatives in state government today as there were before he was elected.

Some of them may have changed positions but the numbers are the same.
Anonymous said…
9:09 am - Mike would win SD for a total of three votes and lose the rest of the Union. Getting it on is not an option for Mike.
Anonymous said…
You can add his son and future-son-in-law to the tax roles. His son, who was hired by the DOT this past summer is now taking a job with the PUC and his daughter's boyfriend/fience just landed a job at Social Services. The social services job was advertised but people who inquired about it were basically told don't bother because it was already promised to the boyfriend.

If you want a job in State Government these days just marry a Rounds and you are set.
PP said…
okay, 1am, and 12:24 I'm having to play blog police. There's no evidence to back up either of your claims, so they need to go away.

1am, I can't find any evidence where RB works for st gov. 12:24, I have no way to prove or disprove that the author is who you claim. (I don't track the full IP)

So we'll just redact both, and if you want to post that stuff, please come up with evidence of it's validity.
Anonymous said…
8:48 am, BPR was already counted in the number of Rounds employees working for the state. Before he came on board this summer, less Rounds members worked for the state than before he became Governor.

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